A few weeks ago, I was on site with a well-respected and admired entrepreneur and designer. She’d engaged us to develop finishes for their upcoming project. I like to understand our clients, so I asked her why she sought us out. Her response is one worth sharing, and her insight may help you to take your project to another level.
She told me that thanks to her extensive travels and experience creating high profile projects (her spaces have been published in design books worldwide), she understands the impact that quality finishes can have on a space.
She understands materiality.
She went on to explain that because their projects are so unique inspiring for many people, they are often the source of reference for other people’s projects. But she said that they never felt the same as the original. This is because the importance of material selection is often overlooked.
There’s a huge difference between how a space looks in an image and how it feels in the flesh. Some places have a certain magic…elevated somehow, yet hard to put your finger on why. It’s almost always due to the careful selection of quality (and often natural) materials.
Natural coatings like lime and clay plasters along with premium microcement, take spaces beyond painted plasterboard and generic tiles. They work beautifully alongside timber and stone and add a different dimension to a design. The right material choices can inject subtle magic into a space.
Giving priority to materiality during the design phase is important, and walls deserve particular attention. Subconsciously your eyes know when they’re seeing thick, natural plaster instead of a thin, uniform coat of acrylic paint. Senses pickup on tactile plastered walls and can smell the freshness and makes you want to reach out and touch the surfaces. There’s a connection with nature that people connect to. This is the same with other natural materials such as timber and stone.
It’s not uncommon for us to work with designers and architects on high end commercial designs such as hotels, restaurants and public places where it’s so important to generate a feeling, not just a beautiful space. Unfortunately, sometimes these thoughtful finishes are substituted at the last minute for materials with less integrity due to budget or time considerations.
Investing in the right materials doesn’t just give you a more beautiful design. It can take spaces to another level and gives a wow factor isn’t immediately obvious, but it is impactful. Incorporating quality, natural materials into your design (especially on walls, which can alter the entire look and feel of a space) is an investment in both time and money. But it’s one that can absolutely set your project apart and is one worth prioritising.